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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Coalition Expresses Cautious Optimism about Legislative Outline for Immigration Reform

April 29, 2010

Francisco Lopez, Executive Director: (503) 269-5694
Erik Sorensen, Communications Director: (503) 488-0263

Coalition Expresses Cautious Optimism about Legislative Outline
for Immigration Reform

CAUSA applauds movement forward, expresses optimism and concerns about framework
Salem, Ore. -- In response to pressure from the Latino, immigrant, labor, and faith communities coupled with the introduction of the racial profiling law passed in Arizona, Senate Democrats issued a legislative outline today in attempt to get Republican support for immigration reform this year.

Today CAUSA, Oregon's Immigrant Rights Coalition expresses cautious optimism about this step forward in the process of passing fair and just immigration reform.

"With all the excuses and delays from our Congressional leaders on immigration reform, we are pleased that they are finally taking action", said Francisco Lopez, Executive Director of CAUSA. "This framework still needs adjustments, but at least we have a start."

Although the framework contains an inclusive legalization process and other positive elements such as those addressing the family backlog, which CAUSA supports, there are serious concerns about the enforcement-first language. Because enforcement-only policies have been shown to fail time and again, we are united with our national partners in that we must ensure that people seeking to be citizens are protected and free from fear.

Today's release of the framework for immigration reform comes during a couple of recent developments with members of Oregon's Congressional Delegation. CAUSA was notified yesterday that Senator Jeff Merkley signed onto a letter calling on the President to support a comprehensive immigration reform bill.

In addition, earlier this evening, CAUSA received a letter from Congressman Kurt Schrader announcing his support of HR 2414: Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits, and Security (AgJOBS) Act of 2009. Congressman Schrader told CAUSA in a meeting last Saturday that although he hasn't joined on as a co-sponsor of HR4321 (CIR-ASAP Act of 2009), he does support some of the principles of comprehensive immigration reform.

CAUSA now has commitments from most of Oregon's Congressional Delegation except Representatives Walden and DeFazio that they will support immigration reform legislation.

This weekend, thousands of reform advocates will gather in Salem to march, rally and call on Senate leadership to introduce an immigration bill. It will be one of over 80 events expected nationwide on May Day where reform proponents will continue their pressure on members of Congress and the President to pass legislation to fix America's broken immigration system this year.

"Regardless of the developments both in D.C. and in Oregon, we will continue the pressure on Congress to finish the job of passing legislation that will legalize 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States", said Lopez. "Too many families have been hurt and continue to be by inaction. We cannot wait any longer."


CAUSA, Oregon's Immigrant Rights Coalition is the largest Latino and Latina civil and human rights and advocacy organization in the Pacific Northwest. We work to defend and advance immigrant rights through coordination with local, state, and national coalitions and allies. For more information, visit

Letter from Senator Merkley:
Letter from Congressman Schrader:

Details about the May Day March & Rally to take place in Salem this Saturday can be found here:


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